A question that has been asked of me several times is whether I think there is one aspect of early brain development that I feel is most critical for Brain Insights to place an emphasis. When considering this, the area that immediately comes to mind is the understanding of the significance of secure attachment.
This is not the only area that is important and I will address this, but the first and primary need of a baby is to establish a trust in someone that aids in survival. The infant is helpless and needs to establish a connection to someone that will consistently and lovingly respond to expressed needs. When needs are met repeatedly and predictably in a nurturing way a feeling of security results. These repeated experiences actually create connections between neurons and to a great extent contribute to an essential foundation in the brain toward success in life.
These early relationships and important resulting connections have a very real impact not only on social emotional development, but also on learning.
The most advanced “thinking area” of the brain for controlling impulses, abstract thinking, planning and anticipating consequences all begins development through predictable, nurturing, respectful and responsive relationships. The need of every baby to establish a secure attachment is the reason, The Love Your Baby brain packet was the first I developed and is my absolute favorite of the series.
There is a wealth of valuable research on the crucial impact of attachment whether it is secure or insecure. Recent additional longitudinal research conducted at the Institute of Child Development University of Minnesota, reveals in-depth findings to support what previous studies have shared on this important topic.
“… a new study suggests that parents may want to focus on one major influencer: sensitivity during a child's first few years. Researchers argue that a kid's social and academic abilities can be stifled all the way into adulthood if they don't receive sensitive caregiving.
According to the researchers, sensitive caregiving is "the extent to which a parent responds to a child's signals appropriately and promptly, is positively involved during interactions with the child and provides a secure base for the child's exploration of the environment." In other words, it's interacting with a child in a gentle, attentive way that shows the caregiver understands the child's needs.”
~Study Pinpoints One Big Factor In A Child's Early Life That Can Have A Lasting Impact: The Huffington Post by Rebecca Adams
So, clearly the influence of early relationships is extremely significant. This topic definitely needs broader awareness and greater understanding. So in answering the question posed…
Promoting the impact and understanding of secure attachment is where I place a large focus of the work of Brain Insights. However, this is not all that a growing brain needs. Several other areas of importance are also emphasized.
In Addition to Secure Attachment Developing Brains require….